I’m Masud Olufani for the Atlanta History Center.
For twenty-eight days straight, Atlanta has endured Sherman’s relentless shelling.
The endless bombardment takes its toll.
Thomas Key records in his diary that shells are “striking through houses and exploding amidst families, killing women and children.”
All of Atlanta is horrified by the tale of Joseph Warner...
Asleep in his house with his little girl Lizzie, a shell crashes into their bedroom. The child is cut in two. Warner loses both legs and later dies.
The Augusta Constitutionalist predicts that “the bombardment of Atlanta’s populace – the murder of the innocents – bids fair to be one of the most poignant tragedies of modern times.”
A surgeon reports that 107 limbs have been amputated since the shelling began – civilian casualties, not military.
Burial records are not kept during the siege, making an accurate death toll impossible.
But on August 21, Samuel P. Richards writes in his diary that “about 20 lives have been destroyed by these terrible missiles, since the enemy began to throw them into the city.”
Sherman seeks to reduce Atlanta to ruins, ordering his men to “fire from … every gun you have …that will reach any of its houses.”
I’m Masud Olufani and this is week eighteen.